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We only just told you about Touch Force [Free] in the middle of last week, but already the game has shot through the Apple approval process and popped up in the App Store this past Friday. Nothing better than learning about a cool upcoming game and not having to wait a long time for it, eh? To recap, Touch Force is a scrolling shooter with all the things you'd expect from the genre, like huge bosses and bullets flying everywhere. However, one key difference is the implementation of multitouch, where each finger you place on the screen creates a ship at your control. It's an interesting idea and one I haven't seen used in a shoot 'em up before, and in practice, it actually works pretty darn well.

For the most part, using just one or two fingers should suffice for most challenges, and it really isn't all that practical cramming all five of your fingers on screen at once. But… it's just so darn satisfying to do so. With all five fingers planted down you create a firestorm of bullets, and depending how nimble your fingers are, you can create a span of ships across the width of the screen or concentrate all that firepower into a more closely knit cluster. It's up to you, though like I said it isn't all that practical or comfortable to have all five fingers on the screen at once. But once you get used to when and how to use the multitouch, it can be fun to do ever once in a while.

When your fingers are lifted off the screen there are no ships present, and as a result, nothing for the enemy to blast out of space with its own firepower. That seems like it could be a cheap mechanic, but Touch Force balances it out well. If no ships are onscreen and firing for too long of a stretch, your life gauge will start to deplete. So lifting your fingers off the screen to avoid bullets is a smart tactic, but one you'll be forced to use in moderation, which is a good thing. You can also collect upgrades for your main guns during play, making them more powerful, and laser orbs which fill a second meter used to charge up a powerful laser weapon.

All in all, Touch Force is a surprisingly cool little game, and its main standout feature, the multitouch, is actually implemented in a very nice manner. It feels like a truly fresh take on the shooter genre. People in our forums seem to be digging Touch Force as well, and really the only negative I've heard about it is that the game is overall much too short. There's a main campaign with four waves to fight through, each capped off with a boss fight. Then there's a boss rush type of mode where you simply play through all four bosses in a row. And… that's pretty much it. I doubt it will take anybody more than an hour to complete both, but it's a super fun ride while it lasts. An endless mode would go a long way towards giving Touch Force more longevity, and more levels and boss fights would be welcome as well.

Even with its short length, Touch Force is a game you should check out if you're a fan of shooters or just interested to see how the multitouch is integrated. Best of all is that it's free to download and try, offering up the complete first wave and boss fight. If you like that then the rest of the game can be unlocked with a one-time IAP of 99¢. Though it's short, I think it's totally worth the buck, and at the very least you should check out the free portion of Touch Force just to see what it's like.

  • Onikage725

    I downloaded and tried it yesterday. I haven't unlocked the full game yet, but I dug the intro level. I only really used two ships/fivers, three on the boss for increased firepower.

  • Goggles789

    Tried it but couldn't get into it. Feels like a cheap flash based game, as do many ios offerings.

    • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

      Says the troll.

  • Adams Immersive

    Menus/graphics are a little low-budget, but it's only 30MB--definitely worth having even for the free portion, as a neat multitouch experience. I can't vouch for iPhone/iPod Touch (2 fingers at least should be easy), but on iPad Air the multi-finger thing is pretty fun! Three fingers are easy on a 10" screen, if you brace against your chest or use a surface. (Four fingers + would require turning off multitasking gestures.)

    I like that you can quickly toggle between a large but vulnerable multi-shooting cluster, and a single small ship (easier to avoid hits) in an instant. It creates new habits, different from yet-another-shooter.

  • Funem

    The game is good, but on the iPhone / iPod, you cant really play with more than two fingers on the screen as its to cramped. The on screen indicators for laser etc, should be moved to the top (or an option to have them at the top) so they can be seen when playing on phones or iPods as your fingers are in the way, the more fingers on the screen the more these are obscured.

  • Pierce Baggett

    Hope it comes to android devices :(